Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Seemingly Overnight

All parents are victims of the whimsical naivety in admitting our child's development happens "seemingly overnight". We all, and I'm assuming first time parents the most, are peering constantly at every sound, smell, and motion while our child is awake and even most of the time while they sleep. We encourage good behaviors so they occur more and redirect bad behaviors so they disappear, so to suggest we as parents "didn't see it coming" or are "somehow surprised" by its occurrence is as inaccurate as Dewey beats Truman or Lebron is better than Jordan or Slater is cooler than Zack Morris....no one is cooler than Zack Morris.

Most parents even take it one step forward into "the time flies so fast". No parent thinks that when they are exhausted day after day with colic, crib training, any cold or illness, upset stomach, eating healthy stuff, or just some good ol' baby stank attitude. Time doesn't fly. Many days are long and grinding, even the good fun ones. Parenting is amazingly tiring work. I believe we as parents say that because we are so mentally, physically, and emotionally invested into everything every day with our children that we can recall in amazing detail, like a tech nerd reciting exact Stars Wars dialogue, so many distinct and precise moments...each trip to Starbucks, walk in the park, or creepy stranger who touches his red hair. We are the Library of Congress for our child's upbringing and can pull up memories at the drop of a hat....fun memories to relax, cute and sweet memories to smile, even memories grouped into empirical data driven past results that we need for our current and future parenting decisions. "Mellow Mushroom for Dinner? Food is great but 3 of the 5 times we've gone there, G was a mess." Time doesn't really fly, just we as parents are learning, like Jedi Masters, how to master the concept of time, manipulating its hold on what can and can't be done in a day, constructing the high and lows and fast and slows of another human's routine. In the word's of Yoda, "Do or don't do. There is no try."

As Gunner approached 1 year old, he was on the brink of walking. He didn't do it by 1, it came a week later. As he approached 2, he was on the brink of real talking, not just some words here and there, but all the time, mostly understandable, even repeating and mimicking and holding dialogue. Low and behold, right after turning 2, the words started flowing. I walk into his room in the morning to a "Hey Dada" and we are off. His vocabulary has probably quadrupled in the last 3 weeks alone. It has been impressive.

And since we are 2 months into potty training and it has seemingly plateaued, we NEED this linguistic improvement to push us over the hump to where G can tell us when he needs to go the bathroom instead of us talking him every hour like clockwork to avoid accidents. We are accident free but far from able to rest easy. Like someone famous once said somewhere at some point, "What's the point of speaking if not to help children pooh in the toilet?"

 Bubble popping fun with cousin Carter and Nonnina....
Sno-Balls in March??? Yes Please....
 Fun in class....
 Fun in class with Papa G....
 
"That number is good right??" (At 2 Years old: 96th percentile in Weight; 34 lbs.)
 "Trust me Dad. I can stand still." (At 2 Years old: 68th percentile in Height; 2'11'', 35 inches)
 Our trick to overcoming painful shots....only 10 seconds of tears....
 Watching Dad play some soccer....
 Racing Dad after the game....I may be getting old but I'm no easy win....


Monday, March 14, 2016

HOORAY! WE HAVE A 2 YEAR OLD

Gunner is now 2. Terrible 2? Far from it.....so far (knock on wood). It has definitely been an interesting two years. There are some very tough times, a ton of decision making and second guessing and third guessing, brain racking, patience and endurance testing, times of self-discipline and self-reflection. But there are wonderful times, sheer joy and happiness, pride and admiration, humor and pleasantness. And moments of good parenting feel like the ultimate Duck Tales Junior Woodchuck Merit Badges of success. When your kid listens to anything you say or shows kindness or displays some cleverness or intelligence, your heart soars like you nailed the Final Jeopardy question after bidding all your money. When your kid cracks up laughing, there's nothing better and you want to call work and retire to a small cottage near the Mediterranean coast in the south of France.

I love being a parent. After the obvious adjustment of such a major life change, I do appreciate my time as a father with my child. Now I still don't agree with the notion that "kids are the greatest thing you can do" or "having kids completes you as person". As our lives as parents puts the needs of our kids and family first, being a parent is still only a part of who you are. I know my wife and I would be just as happy without kids, but we have a kid, a great one, and we have a family, a great one. And when you devote your heart to something, you rarely ever regret the outcome.

As G is now 2, I want to devote more to photos and less to text.....so enjoy.....

Gunner 1 Year Ago at 1 Year Old....

Starbucks Regular.....

 "Is the gym that way?"....

If you don't like what the scale says, just change it....
 

Summer fun....

 Summer time, of course....our first Sno-Ball....

Fun with bro Maddox....
 

 Yes, baptized and good to go....

Most days....no stress, no clothes....

At the beach, a favored past time....

 Hanging out with Elle, the little lady....

Bath time fun....

 Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere.....Thanks for the help Grandpa....

Park fun....

Not always fun and games....

Alphabet crazy.....so when at work, let's get to work....

 Getting the morning started....

He discovered and loves the selfie....

First Saints game in the Dome.....oh the nachos!

That guy at Starbucks holding up the line on his phone.....

Curbside in the Quarter on a Saturday night....about 19.5 years too soon....

 Loving District Donuts with a passion....

"OMG! NO WAY!"....

Travel Pro....

Loving and missing Uncle Marc....

Beach Selfies....

Thursday night soccer....getting in a kick around....

 Even trying to sell a house this year....

 Becoming a beast....gymnastics and trampoline dodgeball....

Halloween as Ace Ventura....Finkle is Einhorn!!!

 Thanksgiving in Louisville Kentucky with Cousins Drew and Kenley....

Not sure what is so funny....

Christmas time....trees, lights, stars, wreaths....shirts? optional....

"Santa? Not that exciting. Just let me chill on the phone with Cousin Ava"....

Chillin with my homies, Maddox and Grayson for a Saints game....

Happy New Year's!

The Adventures of Potty Training....

Big kid rocking the big kid school style....

Mardi Gras Time!


 No haircut since birth? Bust out the Man Bun....

Styling with dad in the coolest kicks of all time! Thanks Aunt Theresa....
 
Some days are just....

Owning the beach....

Birthday party....amazing cakes, amazing day....passed out with Cousin Deke....

Birthday Cake Pops....

Chillin with Cousin Carter....

First Dentist trip....

When you realize changing the weight on the scale doesn't actually make you skinnier....
 
Our Little Man....2 Years Old